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Thursday September 21, 2017
Posted: Sep 03, 2015

Brady won (for now), but sad Deflategate saga made us all losers

Sidelines: Central Maine Sports Blog
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It only seems right with the recent release of “Straight Outta Compton” to borrow this line from Ice Cube: “Today was a good day.”

No, not because Brady’s suspension was overturned or Roger Goodell and the NFL seemingly got their butts handed to them in court. It is because the most inane, moronic and flat-out stupidest seven-plus-month period in American sports history is one step closer to being over.

The fact that a dispute about air pressure in footballs reached the level of federal court, and more specifically the reaction from fans and media — which you get a gold star if you could truly tell the difference between the two during the whole fiasco — is the true embarrassment.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I saw “Free Brady” regalia plastered on T-shirts, bumper stickers and social media. Who is this Brady fella? Is he a modern-day Nelson Mandela?

No? He’s a millionaire quarterback who’s won multiple Super Bowls, you say, and to make matters worse he’s married to a super model who makes even more money than he does? How dare the NFL — wrongfully or rightfully — suspend him.

The media coverage was even worse, though.

Every. Single. Day. It was “Deflategate” this and “Deflategate” that. Since when did it become acceptable to just take any controversy and throw -gate at the end of it? Oh, I get it, like Watergate! Clever! Let’s just hope there is never a scandal involving a team’s water on the sidelines, then things might get really confusing.

I guess the real problem is the way social media has changed reporting. Believe me, I’m all for social media and, at times, it can be a pretty cool thing. But when you rush to be first sometimes accuracy is lost, and there were so many “facts” thrown around throughout this situation that it was next to impossible to keep everything straight.

Well, here’s a fact for you: The NFL will be just fine.

Does Goodell look bad today? Yup. How about the NFL’s entire investigation of the matter? Not good. Will viewership of the league be higher than ever? You bet.

If this entire debacle proved anything to me it’s that the NFL is a ratings juggernaut. How much has the NBA or NHL been discussed the past few months during their respective offseasons? What’s that? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the crickets.

The NFL, meanwhile, dominated headlines — particularly in New England. And while the league may have lost this case, has fan support for the Patriots in New England ever been higher? The team just won the freaking Super Bowl and if that’s not enough, they were “under attack” all offseason.

And outside of New England, the narrative will be those stinkin’ cheaters won yet again. Not only did the Patriots cheat to win the Super Bowl, they got away with it, too.

It really is a compelling storyline: The New England Patriots, antihero or villain? I feel pretty safe in assuming that you’ll all tune in.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

ecrawley@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

 

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